I’ve been playing a game of “dueling temperatures” with an old friend via email. I moved to New York State from Mississippi. My former home does not handle winter well. That is, when actual winter conditions occur, which is rare. But a lot of the south, from Texas to Georgia has seen significant snowfall, whereas here the temperatures have varied from -17F to +43F. So snow one week and rain the next. Then everything freezes. The difference is, an inch or three of snow down there is a “We’re all gonna die!” situation. They’re not equipped for it because it happens rarely and you don’t spend your budget on snowplows that are (almost) never going to be needed. So how difficult things are is mostly a matter of perspective.
Which applies to almost everything.
Whenever I’m feeling down about how little I’ve accomplished, it’s good to stop and remember that there was a time, writing wise, when I had accomplished exactly nothing, except to write a bunch of beginner stories that no one other than I and much put-upon First Reader were ever going to see. When I had written novels but never sold any, but then graduated to an entire four book series. Now when I’m holding fire on three novel projects, I can remind myself that I can do this, I’ve done it before, and there was a time when none of that was true.
It’s too easy to forget that, no matter what stage you’re at. If you’ve written stories but not sold any (if that’s your goal), at least you’ve written. Same for writing a novel. Maybe you’ll publish, maybe you won’t, but most people who start a novel never finish it, and maybe you did. That’s something, and it’s a whole lot more than nothing.